It happened. Four months pregnant and I caught the king of all colds. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was the picture of perfect health. Not only was it an easy pregnancy but I was able to completely evade cold and flu season. This time around, I haven’t been so fortunate. I’ve been pregnant and sick!

Normally when we’re sick with colds, there are plenty of herbal and medicinal cold remedies available. However, while pregnant there are few “safe” remedies to ease the symptoms of a nasty cold.

Here are some things I found useful while pregnant and sick with a cold.

Are you pregnant and sick with a cold? Here are some ways to get relief! #pregnant Click To Tweet

Cough suppressant recipe (all natural)

I got this recipe years ago from the book, Herbally Yours by Penny C. Royal. It tastes nasty but it soothes the throat and is amazing at suppressing a bad cough (so you can finally get a good night’s sleep). I find this concoction works as good (if not better) than any over-the-counter cough syrup.

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp water

Mix all the ingredients together and take a 1 Tbsp dose. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. 


I’m not talking climbing a mountain… just elevate your head when you’re sleeping. This can work wonders on congestion and coughing.


Water. Juice. Tea. Increasing your fluid intake will help you flush out the virus.


If you have a sore throat, gargle with salt water 4-6 times a day. It helps relieve the soreness and also serves to cleanse/sterilize your mouth and throat. In fact, according to Buzzle (2011) “during gargling, the process of osmosis is initiated which dehydrates the bacteria thereby substantially extenuating their effects” (paragraph 2).


Normally when I feel a cold coming on, I gobble an extra odourless garlic tablet every day. However, garlic in concentrated tablet form is not safe during pregnancy.  According to Medline Plus (2011), “garlic is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in medicinal amounts in pregnancy and breast-feeding” (paragraph 30).

Garlic is a natural blood thinner, thus, large doses would make it unsafe for use during pregnancy. However, when taken in regular doses (i.e. in recipes, cooking, etc.) it is fine.

Even though the medical community has not proven garlic effective in treating colds, I have personally found that increasing my garlic intake always helps boost my immunity so I can quickly recover from a cold.

This great garlic pasta recipe which will surely kick that cold to the curb!

Hot teas and chicken noodle soup

Hot herbal teas (I make my own concoction of lemon, slices of ginger and honey) open up your airways and make it easier to breathe. Chicken noodle soup (the infamous home remedy passed down by mom) has the same effect.


Herbal lozenges can provide a lot of relief to a sore, dry throat. I find hard peppermint candies are just as beneficial as the commercial brands of medicated lozenges (and the peppermint helps you breathe a little easier too).

Neti pot

Prior to this pregnancy, I’ve heard quit a bit of buzz around neti pots and how effective they are in clearing one’s sinuses. However, the idea of flushing my nasal cavities with a saline solution made me cringe. I can’t stand swimming and getting water up my nose, how would a neti pot be any different?

This past cold was awful! In desperation I ran out to my drugstore and purchased a neti pot. The first time I used it was awkward and uncomfortable. However, I had much success with my second and subsequent uses. The difference it made to clear my sinuses was remarkable. What’s wonderful is it’s perfectly safe to use throughout your pregnancy!

Also, apparently regular daily usage of a neti pot can also prevent someone from getting sick. Often it takes 24-48 hours from when you are exposed to a virus to when you start feeling and displaying symptoms.

Daily flushing of your mucous membranes (where many viruses enter your system) can help prevent a virus from taking hold and multiplying! I swear by the effectiveness my neti pot and it has become a part of my daily health practice/routine.

Orange juice

A classic remedy. Although not proven entirely effective by the medical community, drinking an extra glass of orange juice every day can’t harm you.


You can’t deny the benefits of rest while sick with a cold. Your body needs to use as much energy as possible to combat your illness. Rest will make a cold go away faster.


Put your head over a pot of hot water and cover your head with a towel. Breathe deeply. The steam really helps with opening up your airways. Just make sure that your steam treatment is not elevating your body temperature (as increasing your body temperature while pregnant isn’t safe for the baby).


Regular strength Tylenol is considered safe to use while pregnant. However, I would use this as a last resort, or if you need to bring down a fever. Consult with your physician as to what is the safest dose to take while pregnant.

Vicks Vapour Rub

I swear this stuff works! I even follow the folk remedy of putting some on my feet and sleeping with my socks on. A bit on your chest and back will usually provide enough relief to fall asleep.

Vitamin D

According to Dr. Patrick Massey (2010) “Vitamin D may be as effective as vaccination for seasonal flu” (paragraph 1). Also, “Vitamin D appears to have protective effects against colds and other respiratory tract infections” (Heal With Food, 2011, paragraph 13). A Vitamin D supplement or 15-30 minutes of sunshine per day could make a world of difference in helping you overcome your nasty cold.

Please note, there is no replacement for your physician or midwife’s advice, so please seek their support if your symptoms persist.

Hopefully one or a few of these remedies helps you find some relief from your cold. Please feel free to comment or share if you have additional suggestions for relief when pregnant and sick with a cold.

Psst – Want to become a happier and calmer parent? These resources are exactly what you need!


Buzzle. (2011). Gargling salt water benefits. Retrieved February 21, 2011 from, http://www.buzzle.com/articles/gargling-salt-water-benefits.html.

Heal With Food. (2011). Guide to fighting common cold and flu. Retrieved February 21, 2011 from, http://www.healwithfood.org/commoncold/.

Massey, P. (2010). The alternative approach: Vitamin D boosts immunity against flu. Retrieved February 21, 2010 from, http://www.naturalhealthresearch.org/nhri/?p=2753.

Medline Plus. (2011). Garlic. Retrieved February 20, 2011 from,  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/300.html.

Royal, P. (1982). Herbally yours (3rd ed). Publisher unknown.


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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool and creator of The Deliberate Mom. Jennifer writes about parenting, homeschooling, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.

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